Sometimes, when I am by myself there is occasional once over that I get from men followed by the “smile, pretty lady”.
The thing is by the time that a man has looked me up and down like that, I feel like doing anything but smiling. I feel like so many lines have been crossed that I don’t know where to start.
I feel frustration.
I feel disgusted.
I feel violated.
But this is not about how I feel, because why should that ever be a factor. This about why I am not smiling.
And you, sir, you have a point.
I should smile. I should giggle. I should laugh senselessly. Walk over to you, oh no, not just walk. I should sashay to your corner. I should sit as close as possible and whisper happy thoughts about why I am smiling. I should laugh with your machismo perspective. You deserve my smile. Maybe my number and social security digits too. Why stop with just a smile, when you’ve clearly noticed more than just my face? Of course, this is your way of complimenting me…and of course, I should agree.
I should chuckle heartily. I should laugh senselessly. What am I thinking, just standing there? I should be walking over to you, oh no, not just walking. I should sashay to your corner. I should sit as close as possible and whisper words that you deserve to hear about why I am smiling.
I should laugh with your machismo perspective. You deserve my smile.
You stranger, yes you, you should not have to put up with my disdain. Why on earth would I be bothered by your glances? Why am I bothered by your commands though you don’t know me?
When clearly you are right. I should smile.
But not just any smile. I should smile the biggest smile that I have ever felt. I should smile even though I just want you to trip on concrete for making me feel so gross.
But unfortunately, I am terrible at taking advice from strangers. So forgive me for rolling my eyes. For glaring at you. For flipping you off. For staring you down. For telling you to shut up.
In hindsight, even though I still feel fantastic about telling you off (though disappointed that I even had to deal with you today). I guess it was not selfish or sexist of you to assume that I would smile at you. To assume that I should. To tell a complete stranger what to do.
And I am sure if I gave you the chance, you might’ve explained to me why it really is in my best interest. Too bad I left, huh?
The thing is, I was already in a good mood before you told me what to do.
Unfortunately, there will be a next time with someone else.
And the chances are, I’ll forget to mind my manners again.